The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum announced the 20th class of National Design Awards winners on June 5. The program honors visionaries from multiple disciplines, including architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design, for work that demonstrates excellence, innovation, and “enhancement of the quality of life.”
Thomas Phifer, whose idyllic Glenstone Museum in Potomac, Maryland, opened last September, received the award for exemplary architecture design. Phifer’s New York City studio, founded in 1997, is known for projects such as the light-filled Corning Museum of Glass Contemporary Art + Design Wing (2015) in Corning, New York, and the Raymond and Susan Brochstein Pavilion at Rice University (2009) in Houston, Texas, an airy Modern addition to the oak-lined campus of Rice University.
IwamotoScott Architecture won the award for interior design. The San Francisco-based firm designed the eclectic Goto House, an off-the-grid family vacation home in Napa County. Pinterest HQ, and Bloomberg Tech Hub, both in San Francisco, California, are among IwamotoScott’s corporate office designs.
New York–based landscape architecture and urban design studio SCAPE was honored with the landscape architecture award. Founded in 2005 by Kate Orff, the firm’s installation “Ecological Citizens” (part of the U.S. Pavilion’s “Dimensions of Citizenship” exhibition at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale) examined the relationships between ecology, infrastructure, and climate. The full U.S. Pavilion exhibition, “Dimensions of Citizenship,” later moved to Wrightwood 659 in Chicago. Other work by SCAPE includes the First Avenue Water Plaza in New York and the Living Breakwaters project, which seeks to mitigate the effects of storms and establish new marine habitats on the shores of Staten Island.
Other 2019 National Design Awards winners include:
- Susan Kare, a graphic designer who worked for Apple and with Steve Jobs to create familiar icons, for “Lifetime Achievement”
- Patricia Moore, a gerontologist who designs rehabilitation spaces, for “Design Mind”
- MIT D-Lab, which takes a design approach to finding solutions to international problems, for “Corporate & Institutional Achievement”
The National Design Awards were established in 2000 by the White House Millennium Council in 2000 to honor American excellence in design and celebrate its impact. “Twenty years later, the achievements of this year’s class underscore not just the incredible prowess of American design today, but advance our understanding of the power of design to change the world,” said Caroline Baumann, director of Cooper Hewitt, in a press release. “The 2019 winners join an impressive group of honorees who have made an indelible impact on society.”
The awards will be conferred in a ceremony in New York on Thursday, October 17, 2019, during Cooper Hewitt’s National Design Week.